Shaheen Afridi’s perfection against came to the fore in the Cricket World Cup as the left-arm pacer returned with figures of 3/23 against Bangladesh in a crucial match for Pakistan in Kolkata. Courtesy the start that Shaheen Afridi gave, with two wickets in the first three overs of Bangladesh innings, Pakistan restricted Bangladesh just 204 in what is a must-win match for the Babar Azam-led team. The Pakistan pacer also ompleted 100 ODI wickets on Tuesday, becoming the fastest pacer to do so.
Shaheen Afridi’s wickets included Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossein Shanto and Mahmadullah. Shaheen has achieved the milestone in just 51 matches, making him the fastest pacer to reach a century of wickets. In that aspect, this is a world record. In 51 ODIs, Shaheen has 102 wickets at an average of 22.78, with the best bowling figures of 6/35. Shaheen is also the fastest Pakistan bowler to reach the mark, surpassing Saqlain Mushtaq (53 ODIs)
But overall, Shaheen is the third-fastest bowler in ODIs to reach 100 wickets, behind Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichanne (42 matches) and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (44 matches).
Shaheen is having a pretty solid World Cup so far. In seven matches, he has taken 16 wickets at an average of 19.75, with the best bowling figures of 5/54. With Australia’s Adam Zampa, he is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the WC currently.
Coming to the match, Bangladesh elected to bat first. Knocks from Mahmudullah (56 in 70 balls, with six fours and a six), Litton Das (45 in 64 balls, with six fours) and skipper Shakib al Hasan (43 in 64 balls, with four boundaries) came in handy as Bangladesh was bundled out for 204 in 45.1 overs.
Besides Shaheen, Mohammed Waseem Jr (3/31) and Haris Rauf (2/36) also delivered solid spells with the ball. Iftikhar Ahmed and Usama Mir also got one wicket.
Now, Bangladesh, out of the tournament with one win in six matches, need to defend 205. Pakistan will need to chase down this total to secure their third win in seven matches and keep their hopes for the semis alive.
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